We originally created this blog to keep family and friends updated about our little man Jacob, who was diagnosed in the summer of 2011 with a rare, life-limiting genetic disease called Niemann-Pick (type A/B). Jacob earned his angel wings on November 15, 2012, but remains our daily inspiration and constant reminder that we must live in the moment and fill each day with JOY, LAUGHTER and an abundance of LOVE.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

So, this is Christmas?

Today marks exactly one month since Jacob passed away. It has been an extremely difficult and emotional month for us, especially today. We took time earlier today to go visit Jake and brought a Christmas tree to Queen of Heaven Cemetery (innocents area), which we decorated specially for him. It was one small way that we could celebrate with Jake even though he's no longer here with us. We also welcome any family and friends to visit Jake and add an ornament to his tree.

A special tree for Jacob
The perfect ornament for a perfect boy

While everyone else seems to be busy with holiday preparations, we're trying to get into the spirit, but it's just not the same without Jake. Holidays really are incredibly difficult when you're forced to celebrate without the one(s) you love most. I never really noticed until now, but even Christmas music is harsh reminder of the reality that the holidays just aren't the same...."they're singing deck the halls, but it's not like Christmas at all" and "I'll have a blue Christmas without you, I'll be so blue just thinking about you." For now, we're trying our best and even took the time to decorate a tree at our home, so that Kelly could have a special first Christmas.

In my mind and in my heart, I know that Jake is watching over us. Earlier this week I had a particularly rough day and was missing Jake a lot. Just when I was reaching into my purse for some tissue, I found a small jingle bell. I have absolutely no idea how it could have gotten into my purse since I haven't been out of the house much since Kelly was born and we hadn't yet pulled out our Christmas decorations. I know many people look for signs after the passing of their loved ones and we've seen several, most of which we have not really shared. That jingle bell was something special that I needed in that very moment.

This was the first ornament that we hung on our tree at home. It's an angel from Jake's godparents that says "Forever Our Angel Jakey Boy" 

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Little Joy in Our Lives

On Monday night, we welcomed our baby girl into this world. Meet Kelly Joy Brooks, our (not-so-little) 8 lb 14 oz and 21 3/4 inch long cutie. If you were wondering about how we came up with the name, Kelly is my maiden name and Joy...well, we wanted to somehow incorporate Jacob into the life of his new baby sister and being that December is the season of  'Joy' it seemed perfectly fitting. Although we are so heartbroken that Jake did not get the chance to meet his baby sister, we know that she will always have a very special angel watching over her.

Little miss Kelly Joy Brooks and her cute little footprints.
It has been an incredibly emotional past few weeks for our family, met with both excitement for the arrival of Kelly and extreme sadness over the passing of Jacob. We made sure that Jake was watching over us all during Kelly's birth, as we both wore our persevere wristbands and angel necklaces, which were given to us after Jake passed. The angels are carved from Jerusalem stone and have a matching piece that we each placed with Jacob. We kept the other pieces for ourselves so that we can always keep Jake close to our hearts.

Brooks Family

Amazing photo that Grandpa Paul took. If you notice, Josh is wearing his angel necklace.
As we're settling in at home and getting used to our new routine (hmmm...what routine is there really with a newborn!?!), we're reminded of Jake constantly. Every little thing Kelly does we are comparing to Jake and often find ourselves saying Jake's name in place of Kelly's. I actually had a pretty emotional time at the doctor's office this morning when I tried to check in for Kelly's first appointment and found myself checking in for Jacob. We have been to so many medical appointments for Jacob over the last two years and it's just going to take us time to adjust. I don't honestly know how you "adjust" to losing a child, but for now we're just taking things a day at a time, just like we did after receiving Jake's diagnosis. We want Kelly to know how very special Jacob was to us and we are going to use all the wonderful lessons Jacob taught us to make Kelly feel just as loved as her big brother.
On our first night home with Kelly we read her one of Jake's favorite books - On The Night You Were Born